The key to consistent production is sales-specific emotional intelligence.
Prioritizing human connection over technical skill in a sale will naturally force the inconsistent performer to change.
A few years ago, the Carnegie Institute of Technology said that 85% of financial success is due to personality and the ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15% is due to technical knowledge.
Inconsistent performers tend to rely on their technical aptitude. They default to pitching features and functions rather than connecting emotionally to the stakeholder.
This creates an immediate disconnect between the buyer and seller and often is something that is irreparable.
Sadly, the inconsistent performer doesn’t connect the dots in understanding that people buy on emotion and then justify on logic. Instead, they continue to rely on the technical attributes of their sale.
By doing so, they produce inconsistent results. They win a few deals because of “timing” but tend to lose a greater number of deals in the end.
However, herein lies the one of the major keys in moving an inconsistent performer towards consistent production – switching the order around.
Put the Human Element First
While an inconsistent performer may have other reasons for inconsistency (poor time management, horrible prospecting messages, or a lack of confidence in overcoming objections), moving the human element in front of the technical element in the sale will naturally force the inconsistent performer to change.
Oftentimes in sales organizations sales reps are taught the ins and outs of their product or service before they are trained to sell. However, many sales organizations mistake the technical training as sales training with the thought that if the rep knows the product they can sell it.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Buyers don’t just buy because all the bells and whistles fit their criteria, no, they buy because the sales rep found the outcome the buyer wants and helped them achieve it.
It is imperative to remember that people buy for their reasons not yours. Understanding the emotional cues and nuances in the sales process is far more important than understanding the technical attributes of the product or service.
Placing the technical element first is like putting the cart before the horse.
5 Questions For Consistent Outcomes
The best sales reps arm themselves with technical knowledge. But they also increase their probability of winning the deal by leveraging key components of sales-specific emotional intelligence.
They realize that people buy from people. They know that the very first thought in a buyer’s head is not how great their product or service is. Their first thought is actually a question: “Do I like you?”.
The buyer simply wants to connect with you emotionally. However, in this age of tremendous disruption and information overload, most sellers steam ahead to pitching the logic of their offering. They make the mistake of ignoring the human element of connecting first.
Salespeople often forget that the most powerful sales tool they have is not their outstanding product pitch but rather their ability to personally connect with their prospects.
This is not just for times when the sale is on the 1 yard line and needs to be pushed in for the score. Emotionally Intelligent selling is for every step along the way. From prospecting to closing these five questions need to be answered consistently.
Production is the name of the game in sales. In order to achieve more consistent production, focus on the five questions that matter most. This will help move the needle from inconsistency to consistency.
The five questions:
Do I like you?
Do you listen to me?
Do you make me feel important?
Do you get me and my problems?
Do I trust you?
If you feel that you “pitch” more than you listen, focus more on these questions. Don’t get caught up in the technical aspects of your product or solution.
It is very easy to be likable when you place the human element of your process first. Buyers will not remember all the specific attributes of your product but they will remember how you made them feel.
The easiest way to answer all of these questions for your prospect is to listen deeply to their stories, problems, and goals. Don’t worry so much about wowing the buyer with your product presentation and focus on how you make them feel.
You will quickly start moving from inconsistent results to more consistent outcomes.